We now live in a complete micro economy where multimillion dollar businesses are being hatched from the all too familiar mom’s basement. If you’re also becoming sick and tired of working for someone, performing the daily grind, then you may decide to set out on your own as well.
You’ve always dreamed and believed that you can make a stand for yourself, make your own mark, start your own business. But then, you’re also not sure how to begin either.
So because of this, it’s recommended that you not make the leap to self employment all at once, but be more methodical about it. There is also a belief that once you do make the jump, by leaving a salaried employee position behind to become a full fledged entrepreneur, that you can’t ever go back if you need or want to, which isn’t true.
What needs to be adopted instead is more of an open-ended approach, this by looking at the different ways of jumping from paid salary to self employed as quick, painless, and seamless as possible.
You also need to have an escape hatch if your venture doesn’t turn out to be as successful as projected, or the timing isn’t right, and as a result you need to go back and work for someone again, which can happen and is no shame.
With this mindset established, there are a few proven steps which allows you to close that gap between being an employee to a successful business owner.
Know The New Trends Which Drives Your Industry
Every industry sector has it’s blemishes where there’s always a quicker or a cheaper way to do things better with more efficiency.
Your first step is to identify these holes or emerging trends and then jump ahead of the curve to find a solution which will effectively fill that need.
If your current job, however, isn’t able to give you the overall industry issues which concerns it, then investigate what the various associations and forums are talking or complaining about.
So begin attending conferences and then look at their agendas. Read industry specific publications as well as blogs, find out who the main influences are in your particular industry, and then follow them.
Once you’ve identified the major issues which can be potential roadblocks that are slowing down the future progression of your industry, then begin receiving news alerts so that you’ll begin getting streams of the latest information, opinions, and commentary regarding it.
Another method of identifying new and upcoming trends is by looking internally into your own company. Take a look at the factors which contribute to your company’s overall success, and then you’ll begin understanding how your company fills specific industry needs.
Target Your Specific Need
Once you begin to understand specific industry trends, and the potential holes in them, you’ll then get a better idea of what your customers need from you the most.
Know which needs are immediate as in the short term, as well as 6 to 12 months from now. Answering these questions will help you in determining what you can offer them which meets what your clients are looking for the most.
Another equally important issue is what you’re wanting to accomplish. Are you starting your business just because you’re sick and tired of your job, and you want independence, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but may not be good enough of a reason either.
You’re better off if you’re running towards something rather than running away from it, otherwise, the process might begin to stall. You’ll need to decide what you want to do, then translate that ambition into an attainable goal.
Once you realize this, then begin looking for trends which your clients will most likely need in the near future. The intersection may be the “sweet spot” that your looking for, the area where client needs will merge with your skills, creating for a potentially successful business.
Setting Up Your Network
Once you establish what product or service that you want to offer, then begin using all of the connections which you’ve developed from industry connections and from within the company that you work for.
Begin by doing exploratory conversation with those in procurement. If you don’t have contact with them directly, you might introduce yourself at industry conferences, or use LinkedIn as a connection method.
Begin a conversation by saying that you’re wanting to understand the industry better, and if they have time for a 15 minute meeting. Once you meet, ask your contact to describe what they feel is a strong client relationship, and don’t settle for the usual platitudes, such as, good price or good service.
Be aware of all the opportunities which may be right in front of you. If you happen to have a good relationship with who you work for, you may then be able to somehow use that relationship to get your first client.
Seek out those individuals who falls into your sweet spot. Are they someone who may not need help now, but may need assistance a few months from now. If that’s the case, that may be an opportunity that you want to grab.
Tell them that you’re transitioning yourself from working for the company to becoming a consultant, so you’ll be able to take on and potentially fill that “need” within six months.
Another option is you can remain at your current job and then begin offering your services on the side as a consultant to help with the overflow, although doing so may not be considered that ethical.
What you’ll immediately gain is industry experience. Know that your service is in demand, and have a proven marketing strategy which will help you bring in new clients.